Alternative weight lifting equipment locations
June 17, 2011 1:21 AM   Subscribe

Love weight lifting, hate the drive to the local Megagym (or any gym). Reasonably cheap weight lifting equipment abounds, but space is a problem. I have a couple of options available, and I could use some help.

My options are twofold: lift weights outdoors (nice concrete pad, sunshine and fresh air, but also humidity, sun damage and rust are a problem), or have to deal with a tile floor (breakage obviously a concern).

I do live in southern California, so it's not like any outdoor equipment will be sitting under a blanket of snow for four months of the year, but it does rain here occasionally, as well as your standard exposure to the elements problems. I should have space to store weights and most equipment inside the house, but I'm mostly concerned about stuff like a squat rack or a power rack sitting outside all the time.

As for the tile, that depends mostly on whether or not rubber mats are sufficient or economical. It also would take up a lot of indoor space, so if outdoor will work, that would be preferable. Thanks for whatever advice you can give!
posted by Punkey to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Do it outside. You'll have more fun. It rarely rains in SoCal (compared to everywhere else), but I do see your point about rust, etc.

Get weights that are coated with that rubber. Great for outdoors.

Also...prison. I always see (movies) that have inmates lifting outdoors. Is that just movie magic, do real weights have to be brought inside (all right, time to pick up all the basketballs and put them in the gym closet) in prison...or do they just not give a shit about rust?

But yeah, weights with rubber.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:10 AM on June 17, 2011

THIS is what I'm talking about.

THIS thread tells me that you can just paint the racks (powdered paint with rustoleum?) and they'll be good to go.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:13 AM on June 17, 2011

Here's a sort of off the wall idea: call the Venice Beach Recreation Center at (310) 399-2775 and ask them what they do to protect their equipment here.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:24 AM on June 17, 2011

I use rubber mats for my bench press and weights on a concrete floor.

I'd lift outside if I could do it. I'd get those rubber weights like hal_c_on mentioned. Possibly consider bringing any straight bars or curl bars inside to avoid rust.
posted by PsuDab93 at 6:50 AM on June 17, 2011

Alternative option: do weights on the cheap! I wear gloves and lift sandbags (15-30lbs).

You can also build a slosh tube: get a PVC pipe, seal it on one end, fill it between 50-95% full of water, and use it for barbell presses, shoulder-carries, squats, lifting, etc.
posted by nicodine at 7:18 AM on June 17, 2011

Er, cheap and waterproof, that should have read. :)
posted by nicodine at 7:26 AM on June 17, 2011

Weather-proofing your outdoor lifting area might be a lot cheaper than proofing the equipment itself. Maybe look into fitting a retractable sun canopy, or just a big tarp you can drag over the rack when not in use?

Sounds like shock-proofing the tile floor is the main concern. Sandwiching particle boards + foam-rubber is the usual method for constructing homemade lifting platforms. If you're thrifty and creative you can do it fairly cheaply. Keep an eye out for salvageable boards, and call any local horse stables and ask if they've got any old stable matting.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 7:31 AM on June 17, 2011

The cheapest rubber mats I've found are for horse stalls. Most farm stores will have them.

You could also just use 2 layers of outdoor carpeting (very short pile, to avoid instability) which can be found cheaply at a discount carpet store -- especially if you're not picky about what it looks like.

Keeping everything covered with a light [plastic tarp (Home Depot has them in the painting section) is also a good idea. If money isn't an issue, then a canvas military tarp would be ideal.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:17 PM on June 17, 2011

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